Community Centres Programme Team Meeting
Children growing up in slums experience a childhood with massive social problems associated with urban poverty. For most slum families, educating their children is the last thought on their minds. Every child up to the age of 14 is entitled to free schooling, but the schools they attend are poorly resourced and have low learning outcomes. Bhumi community centres work towards bridging this gap and educating underprivileged children, with the help of passionate community volunteers (tutors).
Bhumi centres work with children between classes 3 to 8, handled by two or three community volunteers (tutors) in their own classrooms of 15 – 20 children in each.
The centres aim to provide:
- A safe, positive and healthy environment in after-school centres
- Academic support to ensure Tamil and English literacy and Mathematical skills are honed age-appropriately
- A trigger to social consciousness for the young minds
- A platform to discover and explore one’s individual talents
The volunteer (tutor) selection process is the first step in setting up the centre once the community is finalized. Preference is given to candidates from within the same community. Once they are identified, they become the face of the centre within the community and start the operations.
Typically, the profile of the volunteers is depicted in the images below.
While Bhumi centres work towards the education of children primarily, marking their progress with each new concept, the volunteers’ satisfaction and feedback plays an equally important role in the success of these academic programmes.
Bhumi conducted a survey among the tutors to understand their expectations from the organization, the challenges faced, the utilization of resources by children, the support from the parents, students’ drop-out rates and reason, tutor’s personal impact on working with Bhumi etc. – the analysis is as seen in the graphs. The feedback was a combination of positives and points for improvement. The tutor feedback survey also pointed that learning resources provided by the organization and cluster meetings help in enhancing the learning methodology in turn contributing to better impact of children.
Pavithra and Sharmila, tutors from MS Muthu Nagar community centre, stated that they have frequent parents-teacher meetings to ensure parents are more involved in their child’s learning outcomes. Tutors from Kaninigapuram, Aaduthotti and Vengaivasal shared that timely support received from Bhumi and the tutor meetings/workshops help them tackle challenges, providing them a space to share knowledge with one another for better delivery of the curriculum.
Bhumi’s learning centres give the opportunity to learn, grow and discover their talents and aim to create such an impact where the children of today become the change agents of their own community in the future.
Graph 1: Age Profile
Graph 2: Gender Profile
Graph 3: Tutor's Feedback - Effectiveness
Graph 4: Tutor's Feedback - Satisifaction